Friday, November 29, 2013

Talking To God About God

Jesus gives us a blueprint for prayer.

Luke 11:2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

In response to the disciples request to be taught how to pray, Jesus gives them an example of the content that should be in our prayers, this basic outline is a great example for us to use when we pray. Just be careful that it doesn't become the only prayer that you say and allow it to be meaningless repetition.

The Lord's Prayer can be divided into two major sections. The first half of the prayer is talking to God the Father about his person, his program and about his purpose. This is the part of the prayer that says: “Hallowed be Your Name,” “Your kingdom come,” “Your will be done.”

In the next post we will look at the second half of the Lord's Prayer and see the need to talk to God about his family and the needs that we should ask him to fulfill. We will look at his children’s need for provision, pardon, and protection: “Give us day by day our daily bread,” “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us,” and “Do not lead us into temptation.”

His Person – Hallowed be your name

First of all we need to begin by remembering who we are praying to. Jesus says that when we come to the God of the universe in prayer we don't have to shake in fear but instead we can call Him Father.

This prayer is very well known and it is quoted by many people that don’t have the right to say it. Not everyone can call God their Father. Jesus taught that his children are allowed to call God their Father but they are the only ones. Jesus is the only way for us to enter into a relationship with God and become members of His family. He is our Father and we are His children.
1 John 3:1  See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know Him.
It is a wonderful privilege to be able to call the one and only true God our Father, a privilege we definitely take for granted.Just think about it, we address him as, “Our Father in heaven,” I should be in awe of his greatness and be amazed that God allows me to call him Father. The one that I come to as a loving Father is also the sovereign God of heaven, the God of all power, and the God of all authority.
Revelation 4:11  "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because You created what You pleased."
To the early Jewish Christians, having a proper awe of God was probably easier than understanding their new intimate relationship that they have through Jesus. Unfortunately in our day, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme, we talk about God as the "big man upstairs" without honoring his name.

We are to honor God as holy. We should celebrate who he is as a part of worship during our prayer time. We need to make sure that our prayers show that we honor and revere God.

His Program – Your kingdom come

The second request that we direct to the Father about the Father is not only devoted to the person of God but also to the program of God.
Revelation 11:15  Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: "The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever."
The second request is “Your kingdom come.” Jesus was speaking here about His future messianic reign on the earth. All through Scripture, the story of the Bible looks forward to the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who will rule in righteousness when the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.

History seems to be an endless cycle of the same events going on day after day but history is “His story” and it is headed to a definite climax. We look forward to the day when he will reign on earth and everything will be made new.
Matthew 4:17  From then on Jesus began to preach, "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. "
Until that day comes we can allow God's kingdom to come in our own lives. When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we can ask for God's kingdom and his rule to be established in our own lives. We should let him be the King of our life as we submit to his will. I need to make my life his throne right now!

His Purpose – Your will be done

Next we are to pray for that His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God's will is for us to obey his law and for us to be holy. We should know what he expects from us through his word and we should be willing to do it.
Romans 12:2  Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
A lot of times it seems like we are praying for our own will to be done instead of God's. We lose our perspective and forget that it isn't all about us and God isn't our cosmic butler that we can boss around. Before we ask for our selfish desires we need to focus on the big picture of God's will.

We can stop the rebellion in our own lives as we line up our will to God's will. We can rebel against the ruler of this world, go against the flow, and begin to allow God's will to come to pass on our little piece of the planet.

The point of these first three petitions is to get our minds away from our selfish ways and focus on him, then we will be able to pray as we should for our own desires. It doesn't seem proper to come before the throne of grace without revering God's name, without desiring for his kingdom and his will to be done.